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July 7, 2021
7/07/2021

What Consumers Want as They Return to Stores [US]

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, consumers around the world have discovered new ways of shopping. 
As restrictions lift, a new report from Foresight Factory explores US consumer shopping behavior and expectations for the post-pandemic retail experience.
Among the many results, the report finds that consumers expect recent strides made in shopping technology and convenience to continue advancing. By embracing new digital shopping technology and combining it with thoughtful in-store experiences, US retailers have opportunities to innovate and thrive in the coming years.
Advanced technology can help drive foot traffic
‘Connected shopping’ – where consumers can combine the convenience of a digital experience with the benefits of a physical store – is a compelling new way consumers report they’d like to shop in 2021. 35% of US consumers would go out of their way to visit a store if it had interactive virtual services such as a smart mirror that allowed them to try on clothes or makeup.1
The AR opportunity
Augmented reality (AR) can be a key driver for sales and engagement. Foresight Factory’s research predicts that in 2025 we will see a 37% increase in the proportion of US Gen Z shoppers who use AR before buying a product.1
Already, 62% of US consumers who have used AR when shopping claim that it encouraged them to make a purchase. And 2 in 5 US shoppers expect AR to be available now when they’re shopping for at least one of the following categories: clothes, beauty, furniture, luxury and cars.1
4 in 10 US consumers state that not being able to see and try out products are the most significant factors that put them off online shopping, which could be alleviated by more pervasive AR and virtual try-on experiences from retailers and brands.1
The online shopping surge is poised to continue 
In spite of excitement around restrictions lifting, online shopping is not going anywhere. In fact, consumers report it will continue to grow. Now that new eCommerce behaviors have been mastered by many, 24% of US shoppers indicate that they will shop online even more in the year ahead compared to the last 12 months, double the 12% who say they will shop online less post-pandemic.1
The interest in online shopping is especially relevant in the fashion and apparel industry. 44% of US millennials say they already plan to do the majority of their clothes shopping online in the next 12 months, and 49% of US Snapchatters say the same.1
Whether in-store or online, a phone is a shopper’s best friend
Through all of this, phones continue to be a shopper’s constant companion, both in-store and in terms of how they shop online. 
Over 40% of US shoppers say they use their phone in-store to compare prices and look for product reviews and other information. 44% of shoppers say they would never go shopping without their phone, rising to 63% among millennials.1

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1All data referenced in this post are from a May 2021 Foresight Factory report commissioned by Snap Inc.